Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

Critical Jet Engine GE-414 Deal Signed


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: GE-414 Engine Deal

Mains level: Not Much

jet engine

Central Idea

  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official State visit to the United States, a significant agreement is likely to be announced.
  • The deal is expected to facilitate the transfer of at least 11 critical jet engine technologies.

GE-414 Engine Deal

  • An agreement is expected between General Electric (GE), an American multinational corporation, and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India.
  • The agreement aims to enable the licensed manufacture of GE’s F414 engine in India for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk2.
  • The F414 engine is part of GE’s suite of military aircraft engines and has been utilized by the US Navy for over 30 years.
  • It boasts a track record of over 1,600 engines delivered, accumulating more than 5 million engine flight hours across various missions.

Features and Advancements of the F414 Engine

  • The F414 engine belongs to the thrust class of 22,000 lb or 98 kN and incorporates advanced technologies such as Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC).
  • GE’s highlights the engine’s use of advanced materials and cooling techniques, improving performance and extending component life.

F414-Powered Jets and their Significance

  • Eight nations, including the US, have aircraft powered by F414 engines, such as the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA18G Growler, as well as Saab’s Gripen E/F fighters.
  • The manufacturer’s website suggests the potential use of F414 engines for emerging platforms like the Korean KF-X.

India-Specific Version: F414-INS6

  • The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) selected the F414-INS6 engine for the LCA Tejas Mk2.
  • The LCA Tejas currently employs the GE-404-IN20 engine, which is a derivative of the GE-404 engine developed in the 1970s.

Future Prospects: Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

  • F414 engines may also be considered for the prototypes and initial batch of India’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
  • AMCA is a potential recipient of the engine, although it might face competition from other engine manufacturers.

Significance of the Deal

  • Only a few countries, including the US, Russia, the UK, and France, possess the necessary technology and metallurgy for manufacturing engines that power combat aircraft.
  • Despite India’s pursuit of self-reliance in critical technologies, the country has not yet achieved mastery in manufacturing such engines.

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